Friday, April 25, 2008

To ride or not to...

Twice a year one of the biggest antique festivals on the east coast takes place right here in Liberty. The spring version is today and tomorrow. It has expanded so much that there are mini festivals and flea markets all along the surrounding roads and almost everyone has a yard sale (except me - I threaten to , but I'm too lazy to drag the stuff out of the house). This leads to much traffic with not much attention being paid to anything on the road. Even last night when I went for my ride the traffic was heavy - mostly with incoming vendors, I guess, and they sure were not shy about seeing how close they could get to someone on a bike. I may skip tomorrow - I hate to miss a Saturday, but it's not the kind of traffic I feel comfortable playing in.

I had to work in High Point again yesterday, this time doing more fun IT stuff instead of just running cable. I didn't get out for my ride until almost 6:30. It was about 78 degrees with no wind, the most perfect conditions yet this year. I got in 20 miles at 18 mph. Oh, Tuesday's ride was 27.5 @ 17.3, and I got rained on again, but Wednesday I WASHED MY BIKE - that is a first, for any bike I've ever owned.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Different Stuff

For those of us that believe that real race cars don't have FENDERS, the past month has been one good thing after another. First, the two competing U.S. open wheel series finally unite. Then they make headlines when Graham Rahal becomes the youngest driver to win a major open wheel race in the U.S., in his very first start, followed, of course, by Danica Patrick becoming the first woman to win a major open wheel race - anywhere. I hope they get some mileage out of this and open wheel racing can become relevant again. You can't by positive publicity like this.

Now, if only there were some decent bike racing coverage...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

3 Quarts Low

Being a good bike trainee, I consistently weigh myself before and after each ride to see how the hydration thing is going. I think I stared it because in the summer a lot of my rides are in the evening with temps above 90, and high humidity. Today's ride started with the temp at 57, and ended at 77. Not exactly hot. I rode 60.79 miles and averaged 17.3, and when I got home, I found I'd lost 4 pounds - that's 2 quarts. During the ride I drank 40 ounces of Gatorade, and 20 ounces of water. Not enough. I mowed the lawn after the ride (push mower), and decided to weigh myself after that, and discovered I was down another 2 pounds.

That 60 mile ride was the longest I've been on since the beginning of September, 2006. Since I'm hoping to do the 75 mile ride on May 19, I need to get the miles up. I am not sure I could have done another 15 today. I've still got some time to get better, though. Tomorrow, though will just be an easy 30 or 40 miles.

The jury is no longer out on the seat that came on the new bike. It's not great, but its light years better than the one I was using on the other bike.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

4.5 Short.

A perfect day for an after work ride. 76 degrees, sunshine, and almost no wind. I had to work in High Point today(at least I got to take the motorcycle), so I didn't get out until exactly 6:00, which is about 40 minutes later than if I work in Liberty. That was too bad, since one of my goals for the year is to do 30 miles at an average of 18 mph. Tonight's ride ended up being 25.5 miles with an average of 18.2. If I'd gone for the last 4.5 miles it would have been getting dark by the time I got home, so I stopped. Maybe next time. It's fun to go fast.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Petal Storm

One of the cool spring events here is when the wind comes along and blows all these pink petals off the trees. When you look out the window and see them blowing by it looks just like a snow storm. Here is a little petal drift.


Finally, over the past week or so I've been able to ride a few times without getting rained on. Now I'm going to have to wash the bike - something I never did on the other one. Not sure I know how....

I sent my $20 in for the Tour De Lions ride, now I have to convince myself I can do the 75 mile loop. The furthest I've ridden so far this year is 52 miles, so I have a ways to go, but the ride is four weeks away.

Last night was supposed to be for intervals. The plan was for four at 5 minutes each with 3 minutes rest in between. I found that my heart rate wasn't responding very well, and my breathing was labored. I pushed through the first one, and on the second, it was even worse, so finished it and then just did a low intensity ride. Everything I've read seems to say that a low heart rate is a sign of over training, so I guess it'll be easy rides for the rest of the week. Still, I managed 33 miles @ 17.3 mph.

Yesterday a water main broke in front of C-K and 300,000 gallons (according to the city) of water flowed through our building. Quite a mess. Everything in the downstairs office is soaked, once again, so I'm sure the mold problems down there will only get worse.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Dodging Raindrops -

Last year I didn't ride in the rain. Not one single time. The fact that it didn't rain for most of the year had a lot to do with that, but I doubt that I've ever ridden more than a couple times in the wet stuff anyway. Now that I have a new bike, it seems I have to choose between riding in the rain or riding inside. Today, the rain won again. Originally thunderstorms were predicted, but they were gone from the forecast this morning, and it was about 65 degrees, so there was no danger of the frozen feet and toes of last Sunday's ride. I did two loops with the steepest climbs I've found around here for 44 miles at 17.1 mph.

After last years drought it's kind of nice to see that all the creeks have overflowed their banks. Hope the water table recovers. I think we were down something like 40 inches of rain last year.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


According to the Weather Channel Tuesday was going to be the fourth consecutive day of rain, with the added bonus of thunder and lightening thrown in. I was resigned to setting up the trainer and riding inside - rain is ok- lightening I try to avoid. Around four 0'clock I noticed the sky was starting to brighten up, and by the time I left work at five, it was mostly blue with a few clouds. No trainer for me! By the time I got home, got changed and got the bike out, the temp was up to 75 and all the clouds were gone from the sky. So much for the thunderstorms. It was kind of breezy, but beautiful.

I decided it was time to start my weekly intervals. I managed 4 at four minutes each with three minutes in between. All of them with my heart rate between 169 and 174. They weren't much of a problem. What I can't figure out is why the 90 second ones on the Spinerval dvd seem so much harder, even though the intensity is the same. Is it simply because I'm on the road, going someplace?

This was the first ride I pushed the new bike. I love this bike. It feels right.